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Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

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August 14, 2008 12:42 PM

Ibanez likely to stay

Posted by Geoff Baker

Just got off the plane from Anaheim and can see that Raul Ibanez and Jarrod Washburn are still part of the Mariners.

My hunch when I woke up this morning was that Ibanez was going to remain with the team and that Washburn will likely be traded. It just makes sense to me. You already have Felix Hernandez, Carlos Silva and Ryan Rowland-Smith in the rotation with Ryan Feierabend almost certainly joining it by Sunday and then Brandon Morrow not too long after that.

So, if you want to get a real look at all the youngsters over the final six weeks of the season, trading Washburn frees up room to do just that. It also enables you to offload considerable money for this year and next. Yes, Washburn has been this team's second best -- some may argue best -- starter the past two months. His ERA is right up there with Hernandez's over that period and so are his innings totals.

But again, what does that matter in 2008? And what will it matter in 2009? Does anyone truly think this team can contend next year? The Mariners did not lose out on much by waiting until after the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline to get to this point. They were not going to get anything decent prospects-wise from the Yankees and could afford to wait a couple of weeks to see whether more interest could be drummed up for Washburn's services. Right now, this is probably the best they will do and unloading Washburn now still gets the team that money-savings the Yankees were offering in late-July.

The savings is substantial and I think the team, in the end, will do the right thing and stop holding out for prospects other clubs don't seem willing to give up.

In the case of Ibanez, the Mariners are right to hold out for prospects, since his departure as a free agent next winter would net the club two compensatory draft picks. I am still not certain the club made the right move in not dealing Ibanez before the July 31 trade deadline. The Mariners say other clubs were not offering player packages that were good enough. That they consisted of borderline prospects (some on 40-man rosters) without a whole lot of major league upside.

Thing is, there are no guarantees those compensatory picks will ever make it to the major leagues either. And if they do, it likely won't be for another four or five years from right this minute. Don't forget, those picks won't even come until next June. So, there is value to picking up players who are near to being major league ready right now.

But this is the route the Mariners have chosen with Ibanez. They will have to live with the consequences. Doing a deal with him now will not be easy. Especially since teams can simply put in a waiver claim to "block" Ibanez from going to a rival club. Teams with the worst record on the claims list get first dibs on the player. If their goal is merely to "block" a deal that would send Ibanez to another team, they can simply refuse to negotiate anything with the Mariners other than offering to take on Ibanez's salary.

As we've mentioned, that is a non-starter and would result in the Mariners pulling Ibanez off waivers and simply taking their draft picks next winter. So, like I said, I will be very surprised not to see Ibanez still here by the end of this 48-hour negotiation window.

By the same token, I will also be somewhat surprised if Washburn makes his next start for the Mariners in Chicago. I expect to see him wearing another uniform by then. If not, the Mariners, as usual, will have plenty to answer for. Not to mention a hefty bill staring them in the face.

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Posted by The Ancient Mariner

1:04 PM, Aug 14, 2008

rmore, moving Washburn's contract helps the team deal with other bloated sunken costs - Silva, Batista, and Johjima - who will all eventually have to be eaten. At least some significant payroll will be available, so that something can be done to unload these other losers.

As noted earlier, once Washburn is no longer available, there might be interest among pitching stressed contenders for other possible candidates to take a chance on lesser lights, such as el buffalo. Maybe the M's can try and waive Silva and see what comes of it. What a relief it would be to dump this heap of buffalo dung.

The situation in Boston might also be interesting for the M's with Mike Lowell going down. Why not offer Beltre to the Red Sox? As the owners of the worst record in the AL, the M's can certainly claim any prospects that might be dealt in exchange for Beltre and moving Beltre has to be in the cards as he enters his contract year in '09.

If Boston has, in fact, blocked an Ibanez deal with Tampa Bay, they might take Beltre for prospects and then be less inclined to claim Ibanez from a second go around waiver deal with TB. A move of Beltre can make for interesting times and high rewards for the Mariners. Get on it Lee!

Posted by Jeff

1:07 PM, Aug 14, 2008

Ohhh Washburn has put in a lot of innings. I could put in a lot of sucky innings too.

p.s. Geoff, I thought you know how unimportant ERA is. I guess not.

Posted by az sr fan

1:09 PM, Aug 14, 2008

There was speculation that the end of the 48 hour negotiation window was 1:30 Eastern time today. Do we have a new timeline?

Posted by Miles

1:10 PM, Aug 14, 2008

I'll admit I'm torn on the Ibanez situation. Even if the team isn't good next year, I do think that sometimes, even in this era of free agency, it's smart for a team to keep the occasional guy until the end of his career. While Raul spent some time in Kansas City, if he retired now we'd consider him a Mariner. And then there's the fact that a team with weak hitting should probably not be dumping one of its better hitters. Plus, with a fairly stable rotation for next season lining up, who's to say?

I do think Washburn needs to be let go, even if it means no players in return. We have the potential starting depth we need, so financial flexibility for the next GM is a smart accomplishment.

Posted by M's Fan in CO Exile

1:14 PM, Aug 14, 2008

Good post, Geoff. I agree, for the most part. Not dumping Washburn will be a huge mistake. I don't know if I agree that they risked nothing by waiting. You seem to believe it was inevitable that a team would put in a claim. But, with the money he's owed, and his streaky #5 starter tendencies, it was not a sure thing. The Ms may overvalue Washburn, but a sure thing for even a bad prospect and salary relief before July 31 was better than the risk of not pulling something off post July 31. And I have a hunch the team we were dealing with, the Yankees, won't be in this mix at all post-deadline. Selling high on Washburn is salary relief. Anyone who feels differently isn't properly accounting for how many lower-priced (and shinier in some cases) models can be easily found every offseason to fill his shoes.

I agree with holding on to Ibanez and getting picks for him. Getting near-major league ready role players with low ceilings for players is sometimes a good thing. Often the draft pick has a shot at being a diamond in the rough, though. If the compensation coming over for Ibanez in these packages wasn't significant, I'd argue that the M's made the right move. Selling high on Ibanez isn't a middle of the road prospect and a bench player. The picks help stock your system, and that is worth a whole lot if you can easliy replace what was being offered for Ibanez through other methods. In essence you cheaply pick up what was being offered through trades or acquisitions, and get picks that you can't buy your way to in most cases. It's the best of both worlds, really.

Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

1:15 PM, Aug 14, 2008

I don't think our interim GM has the authority to go to the bathroom without first running it by Chuckles for sure and possibly even Lincoln. Hence, even making an obvious move such as DFA of Vidro & Sexson takes forever to make; same with letting the claimant take on Wash's contract for 2009.

It's frustrating for everyone including probably Lee P. who knows he's probably just keeping the GM seat warm unitl the permanent hire is made.

Posted by Miles

1:26 PM, Aug 14, 2008

I guess I'm looking at everything from a "maximum flexibilty" perspective, based on the hope that the rumored ownership change comes to pass. If Armstrong and Lincoln are still on top, it won't matter who the next GM is IMHO.

Posted by ancient mariner

1:27 PM, Aug 14, 2008

The Mariners have a surplus of overpaid, underachieving pitchers.....Washburn, Silva, Batista, Erika Bedard among them. Time to move them if they can.

Ibanez's value is the compensatory draft picks if the Mariners don't waive him.

Any takers for Johjima or Burke?

Posted by fire_chuck_howie

1:33 PM, Aug 14, 2008

You may have a rime Ancient Mariner, but you have no reason.

Posted by The Ancient Mariner

1:36 PM, Aug 14, 2008

It should be acknowledged that "The Ancient Mariner" and "ancient mariner" are not the same person, while I was away traveling, this new "ancient mariner" appeared with his plagaristic moniker.

Posted by manny

1:54 PM, Aug 14, 2008

How about this whole team is lackluster. Even idf all of our pitching was healthy how many times would those losses be wins. The great Stat comiler ichiro only wants to hit singles, he doesn't care about wins. If he did he would swing hard in RBI situations and get runs home. Melky well who needs him we can get a 250 average center fielder anywhere. We need to get rid of Betancourt, Johjima. Fine Lopez for lazziness and improve pitching. We do not need another superstar listening lincoln. Our last good team we had no so called superstar. Remeber chemistry and people with a desire to win gets us to the dance

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

1:57 PM, Aug 14, 2008

I am not a believer that Washburn turned it around. He does not have one plus pitch in his arsenal of average pitches. He used a change and his predictable fastball as out pitches. I don't believe he has a splitter. He throws the change in the dirt at times. I doubt a team eats the salary of Jarrod if a waiver trade is completed. I bet still pay a portion of his salary into next year. I would love to see Washburn go.

I'd like to see Balentien in left if a deal is made with Raul. Wlad can make plays on line drives in the left-center gap Raul cannot make. The improved defense will not make Silva or any other pitcher new and improved.

Reed has been hitting well lately. I still believe Reed is Bloomquist with gap power, he needs to play the next two months so the team isn't fooled he's the answer in center. I expect his average to deflate come October.

Riggleman showed me last night he is not the answer. First he nearly blew a chance to tie the game by not pinch running with LaHair at second base. This prevented LaHair from scoring on Yuniesky's slow rolling single in the outfield.

Riggle then awoke from his nap on the bench and needlessly pinch-hit for LaHair while he was at third base. This wasted Cairo as a potential base runner in the 8th or 9th inning .

The decision to pinch hit with Hulett was the act of a madman. This was a ridiculous move. Tug looked like a deer frozen in the headlights in that at bat. I would have rather seen Burke hit in that situation. I mean that's the reason he passed up Johjima in the first place right, for Burke's bat no? Really a poor managing job by Riggleman. Hopefully, Pelekoudas does not remain the GM for 2009 and we see Riggle stay.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

1:58 PM, Aug 14, 2008

To clarify: if Pelekoudas stays, Riggleman likely stays.

Posted by Nick

2:01 PM, Aug 14, 2008

Good!! we need his leadership and top shelf bat.

Posted by amanda

2:06 PM, Aug 14, 2008

Washy need to stay too!!!! he had an amazing stretch and really showed he figured it out ala jamie moyer. we lose him and he will go on to win 100+ more games and make us sad :(((

Posted by 11Records

2:11 PM, Aug 14, 2008

Wash should be gone by the weekend. With 3 lefties ready for the rotation next year in Feierabend, RSS and Bedard, who make less in aggregate than Washburn does alone, it makes no sense to keep him.

As to Raul, it's actually a tough call. Because, if the team wants to bring him back next year to DH, they actually SHOULD trade him. That way they might be able to get value for him, and still be able to re-sign him. If they commit to a strategy of receiving the compensatory picks, then they're losing him as a Mariner. Honestly - if they keep him the rest of the year, and also re-sign him, then they're missing out on the opportunity to rent him out for 7 weeks and get prospects for it. And, that would be stupid!

Although - Geoff's point is well taken. If the claim was put in by the Nationals or something, and they'd just offer to pay the last $1m that Raul makes this season and not give back any players in return, it wouldn't be worth it to let him go.

Posted by Thomas

2:21 PM, Aug 14, 2008


Weren't they claimed on tuesday? I thought we'd know what's going on by now, but i hear nothing from anybody...

Posted by 11Records

2:24 PM, Aug 14, 2008

BTW - Geoff - I have a question...

With the way he's hit over the last 2+ months, has Matt Tuiasospo made the M's brass think he might be ready for prime time next year if they were to receive a good offer for Beltre over the winter?

Over his last 200+ AB's, tui has all 11 of his HR, 45 RBI and an OPS approaching 1. And, he just turned 22 in May. Yeah, he struggled the 1st half of the season, but that can be attributed to youth and development.

Personally, my take would be that they should keep Adrian to start next year unless they get an overwhelming offer for him. We all saw what Beltre did in his last contract year! And if Tui just kills PCL pitching next year, and the M's start to falter in the standings, then maybe that forces their hand a little.

Posted by Atizzle

2:32 PM, Aug 14, 2008

We should offer Adam Dunn 4 years 100 mil.

Posted by Bill

2:44 PM, Aug 14, 2008

Seen this yet?:

What possible explanation can the team have for keeping Washburn and his inflated salary around for another year?

Posted by Bill

2:46 PM, Aug 14, 2008

So does that mean they're not going to try to resign Ibanez for next year and pick up the draft picks?

Posted by The Ancient Mariner

2:52 PM, Aug 14, 2008

This hard dealing for Washburn - stupid, stupid, stupid! Why on earth do you keep Washburn and his bloated salary, particularly when you have effective young lefties waiting in the wings?

This hard fisted bargaining for Washburn is beyond stupidity.

Posted by John

2:57 PM, Aug 14, 2008

Here's the biggest reason to get rid of Raul.

United States IP H R ER BB SO
Stephen Strasburg - W 7.0 1 0 0 1 11

I know Strasburg's numbers were against the Netherlands, but the guy is a stud. Maybe a once-in-a-decade pitcher. We'll have the money to sign him, and it's going to take a lot.
Get rid of Raul, get yourself a couple of prospects, and guarantee yourself a crappy finish and the first-round pick.

I know there is no way the Seattle FO is going to think like that, but for once, it would really help if they did.

In the end, I'm sure we'll hold on to both Raul and Washburn for no apparent reason, and then slide into next year in a giant ball of confusion.

Can't wait.

Posted by Bums

2:58 PM, Aug 14, 2008

How much does Ibanez like Seattle? What is the possibility of bringing him back next year if they trade him? They need to get young, but Ibanez should be relatively cheap and good influence on the young guys because he is a professional. If he wants to come back next year, might as take a shot at the prospects and sign him at the end of the season.

Posted by BWare

3:00 PM, Aug 14, 2008

Profound ineptitude...

Posted by Scanman

3:02 PM, Aug 14, 2008

Can anyone tell me if Strasburg fits the Mariners “Physical Mode” of height and weight or will they ignore him like they did Lincecum?

Posted by Unregistered

3:04 PM, Aug 14, 2008

Could Washburn have declined the move? He has a limited no-trade clause, right?

Posted by The Ancient Mariner

3:08 PM, Aug 14, 2008

Have you guys not noticed Bill's post with the link to Sports Illustrated who is reporting that the M's held onto both Ibanez and Washburn? Couldn't make a deal for prospects in the Washburn case, how stupid is this move? Surely a chance to move Washburn for salary relief was enough incentive for any rational organization, however, the M's held firm to their unreasonable demands.

As I understand, they can again offer them on waivers until August 31, lets hope they wise up and some teams will still claim Washburn. It also makes sense to move Ibanez but only if you can get some prospects in return. Yes, it may be possible to resign him as a DH next year, but they should be able to get something decent for him in the next week or so.

Again, why not explore a Beltre trade to Boston now that Lowell is down?

Posted by Adam

3:13 PM, Aug 14, 2008

John Heyman is reporting that Washburn and Ibanez are staying in Seattle.

Not a big deal re: Ibanez. So long as they DON'T sign the guy, but instead get two draft picks for him, I'm fine with it.

But as for Washburn - Pelekoudas really screwed up on this one. Washburn is exactly the same mediocre pitcher that he's always been. He's not worth half the money we are paying him, and for that reason alone Pelekoudas should have done all in his power to get rid of Washburn's ridiculous contract. We could have replaced Washburn with RRS or Feierabend and likely got 90% of the production, at a fraction of the cost.

It would have helped the organization immensely to have not only an extra $10 million, but also an open spot in the rotation - two things vital to a rebuilding franchise.

And it was a mistake to let Washburn get past the July 31 deadline - subjecting themselves to the waiver process, the Mariners allowed themselves to be subject to a team claiming Washburn merely to block another that might have had real interest. I suspect this is what the Twins did, if they were in fact the claiming team.

So now, in 2009, this team will pay Jarrod Washburn more than $10 million to take up about 30 starts, pitch at a mediocre level at best, and block another arm from getting a shot. This will also prevent the team from using that money to fix other holes on the roster.

The incompetence continues. Go Knicks...

Posted by MJ

3:13 PM, Aug 14, 2008

Do you think there's a prayer Beltre passes through waivers to the point where the Red Sox would be the first to claim him? I don't think that's feasible.

Posted by Adam

3:19 PM, Aug 14, 2008

So does that mean they're not going to try to resign Ibanez for next year and pick up the draft picks?

I would hope so, because if they re-sign Ibanez, they are really stupid. If they were set on bringing him back, they could have at least traded him in July, gotten a fair prospect, and then picked him back up in the winter.


Posted by thomas

3:22 PM, Aug 14, 2008

if the SI report about Washburn is true...i'm going to cry.

Posted by The Ancient Mariner

3:22 PM, Aug 14, 2008

As for Beltre on wavier, why not? Who really wants a .250 hitter who has an ARod contract and can't hit in the clutch? He might make Boston a decent fill in for Lowell, but for the money, he is not a very satisfactory long-term answer at third. He is a nice player with great defense, but he continues to choke with risp and he is merely a fair to middling hitter. Other teams well fixed at third may well let him pass, if they don't you can talk trade, pull him back if you are not satisfied and then trade him in the off season. His future is not in Seattle.

Posted by Peter80s

3:28 PM, Aug 14, 2008

The incompetence of this organization is staggering. I wish nothing but terrible things to befall each and everyone who assists in continuing the downward spiral of this absolute DEBACLE.

Posted by doug

3:37 PM, Aug 14, 2008

not a single team in baseball would claim adrian. We pay him like a-rod yet he produces like jeff cirillo....why on earth would a team CLAIM that? WOW HOLY SMOKES

Posted by Unregistered

3:41 PM, Aug 14, 2008

Where does the SI article indicate that the Twins and M's couldn't come to agreement on prospect(s)? The article states that the parties couldn't come to an agreement. Three parties are involved in this case, M's, Twins and Washburn. I'm trying to give LP the benefit of doubt. Washburn may have evoked his (limited) no-trade right. Perhaps he (and his family) did not want to move to Minnesota. Just a thought.

Posted by First Man

3:47 PM, Aug 14, 2008

Why not test waivers on el buffalo?

Posted by CaptainPoopy

3:50 PM, Aug 14, 2008

21.2 % Linedrive
87.46 % zone contact

Those two numbers are good. His linedrive % is the best of his career. As hitters you want to hit line drives. These numbers mean that he's hitting the ball hard and often.

.263 is his BABIP. This means that the balls that he puts in play aren't producing many base hits.

When your LD% and ZoneContact are as high as they are and your BABIP is that low, it's a sign of bad luck. The balls that he's smoking aren't finding holes.

Not to mention that he's a top three defensive player at his position.

Adrian Beltre is not overpaid. He's the BEST Mariner not named Ichiro or Felix.

Seems like most the people on this blog don't take into account defense. His defense makes him (almost) irreplaceable.

Give me a break.

Posted by The Ancient Mariner

3:55 PM, Aug 14, 2008

Your numbers are meaningless because he fails to hit with risp necessary to driving in runs. Besides there is no reason to believe your statistics are accurate, what counts as a line drive and who keeps records of such? It may well be that you are believing in an illusion, an abstract fantasy, Beltre has proven nothing other than on defense. He is a .250n hitter and that makes for poor production. He's an easy out, particularly when there is something on the line.

Beltre is a Jonah! Get rid of him.

Posted by Clutch

4:05 PM, Aug 14, 2008


Years of bad luck, especially with RISP...

Posted by CaptainPoopy

4:15 PM, Aug 14, 2008

PitchFX, Stats Inc and others are responsible for the stats. Not some made up brew haha site.

Not to mention that he also has a torn ligament in his left thumb. One that he's had all season. I'd say he's producing very well considering that factor.

Posted by Sounders

4:24 PM, Aug 14, 2008

News Flash:

Dateline Anaheim: Seattle Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln has been arrested for the alleged assassination of The Los Angeles Angels mascot 'The Rally Monkey.' Said monkey was found dead at Angels stadium with a dart in its neck. Lincoln was apprehended fleeing the scene carrying an African Blowgun and numerous poison darts.

While being apprehended Lincoln was quoted as asking 'Do they have Rally Fries in prison?'

Posted by Jared

5:00 PM, Aug 14, 2008

If I hear one more time that the Mariners are not going to trade Ibanez because they can get compensatory draft picks if he leaves as a free agent, I'm going to choke someone. That's like saying I'm not going to trade you this lottery ticket for $100 because I have a one in 7 million chance of winning. This organization has been run like a freakin' joke the past 5 years or so. When do Armstrong and Lincoln take some responsibility?

Posted by Dave from de coast

8:33 PM, Aug 14, 2008

I'm 85% sue the M's CANNOT contend next year. A thin farm system combined with the M's inability to make any deals this year sorta points the way to another year (or two or three or ten) of obscurity. Wash has been looking 'better' as of late (which may not be saying a lot), but if we have him, as well as Beltre, Ichiro, and Raul around next year, that's a pretty good core to build around. Assuming the M's have any building blocks. I just want to see the M's compete, for their games to be interesting to watch, where a 1-run deficit doesn't mean an automatic loss, that kind of thing.

Posted by sanchez

12:31 PM, Aug 15, 2008

heres a few things we know about this year.

1. lost
2. fo has no clue what its doing
3. lots of dead weight still on this team
4. minor league system not that great
5. this just in, sexon has been waived again

Recent entries

Aug 15, 08 - 10:41 AM
Why Twins wanted Washburn

Aug 14, 08 - 03:26 PM
Ibanez, Washburn staying put

Aug 14, 08 - 12:42 PM
Ibanez likely to stay

Aug 13, 08 - 11:15 PM
Balentien ends monkey business

Aug 13, 08 - 09:57 PM
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